As a beauty journo, I’m all about trying new, innovative and sometimes scary beauty treatments.
Case in point: The Vampire Facial
Made famous by Kim Kardashian West when she had one in 2013, this treatment is said to be excellent for skin rejuvenation, collagen production, minimizing enlarged pores & acne scarring.
Fun Fact: Kim is on record saying that this was one the most painful beauty treatments she ever had & would not do it again. To be fair, she did do it without a topical anesthetic or even numbing cream (I have to wonder why she would put herself through that?)
What is a Vampire Facial?
A vampire facial is a combination of micro-needling and Platelet Rich Plasma. PRP is a concentrate of platelet-rich plasma protein derived from the whole blood after it has been processed by spinning in a centrifuge to remove the red cells. The PRP has a greater concentration (9%) of growth factors than the whole blood, which sits at around 6%. It’s these growth factors – or Liquid Gold (as my dermatologist, Dr Dilshaad Asmal likes to call them) that assists the tissue to heal & repair. This plasma contains high levels of platelets, and these platelets have high levels of growth factors that are like little energy boosts for the skin, which stimulating cell turnover.
How much does it cost?
At Rondebosch Aesthetics, the Vampire facial costs R3000
I was told to apply a thick layer of topical anesthetic an hour before my treatment. This ensures that the micro-needling done with a Dermapen is virtually painless.
To be honest, the most uncomfortable part of the whole procedure was having blood was drawn from my arm.
This blood is then put in a centrifuge machine and spun for around 20 minutes.
And this is what the PRP looks like after the red blood cells have been removed
I then underwent about 10 minutes of Dermapen, which is essentially micro-needling. For those of you unsure of exactly how micro-needling works, what it is, or what the benefits are, here is a short overview:
Microneedling – also known as Collagen Induction Therapy – is a cosmetic procedure that involves repeatedly puncturing the skin with tiny, sterile needles. This triggers the body’s wound healing process, stimulating collagen and elastin production. Microneedling is excellent for treating acne scars, wrinkles and enlarged pores. My derm uses Dermapen because it’s a more safe and effective when penetrating the skin compared to traditional microneedling rollers.
Good to Know:
While you can have Dermapen/ microneedling done at spas & salons, I’d recommend going to a dermatologist for this procedure. Why? Well, for one, dermatologists can administer a topical anesthetic to completely numb the area being treated. At a spa or salon, the therapist can only use a numbing cream (usually Emla). I’ve had microneedling at both a spa & dermatologist. At the derm it is painless. At the spa…not so much! Also, you’ll find the derm’s are often a few Rands CHEAPER than the spa (go figure!)
The PRP being administered into my face, followed by a Dermapen treatment.
The great thing about this treatment is there’s really no significant downtime. Yes, my skin was a little red after and there was some pinpoint bleeding, but this is easily concealed with Lycogel – a treatment camouflage. A couple of hours later, I skin was pretty much back to normal with a nominal amount of redness.
Need to know:
Now, I think I need to chat about the difference between a Vampire Facial and a Vampire Lift. The Vampire facial uses Dermapen / microneedling as a method of getting your platelet rich plasm into the skin. The vampire lift is when your platelet rich plasma is actually injected into your skin. It’s more invasive (and painful) but the results are incredible. Some people say it can take up to 5 years off the face. Honestly, I’m waaaay to scared to try it.
Below are some pictures I’ve taken, makeup free over the past 4 days so you can see what my skin is looking like.
1 day after the Vampire Facial. My skin has a bit of a flush, but looks good.
3 days after the Vampire Facial
I can’t believe how good my skin looks! This pic was taken just after an intense gym session. Also, please look at the awful sun damage on my décolletage and remember to apply sunscreen to this area EVERY DAY, or, when you get to my age (44 yrs) your chest will look like this!!!
4 days after the Vampire Facial
I actually can’t believe just how flipping AMAZING my skin looks. Just 4 days later and I can see a definite reduction in pore size, and the fine lines around my eyes seem a lot less prominent. Before this treatment, I had one vertical lip wrinkle that I can’t even see.
I was told by Dr Asmal to not use any Retinols or AHA’s (acids / exfoliators) on my skin for around 5 days after the treatment. Dr Asmal gave me a few samples of Eucerin Aquaphor Ointment to use on my skin and advised me to use on very basic, non fragranced or coloured skincare.
Who should try the Vampire Facial?
I posed this question to Dr Asmal and she said anyone interested in facial rejuvenation to help with hydration, firming and plumping. She also said it’s excellent for stimulation collagen & elastin formation.
For more information on the Vampire Facial or any other skin rejuvenation treatments, visit the Rondebosch Aesthetics Facebook page HERE or call the practice on 021 687 4900